Actions and Suits in Particular Cases

ORS 30.273
Limitations on liability of public bodies for property damage or destruction


The limitations imposed by this section apply to claims that:


Are subject to ORS 30.260 (Definitions for ORS 30.260 to 30.300) to 30.300 (ORS 30.260 to 30.300 exclusive);


Are made against a public body, or against a public body’s officers, employees and agents acting within the scope of their employment or duties;


Arise out of a single accident or occurrence; and


Are claims for damage to or destruction of property, including consequential damages.


The liability of a public body, and the liability of the public body’s officers, employees and agents acting within the scope of their employment or duties, for claims described in subsection (1) of this section may not exceed:


$100,000, or the adjusted limitation provided by subsection (3) of this section, to any single claimant.


$500,000, or the adjusted limitation provided by subsection (3) of this section, to all claimants.


Beginning in 2010, and every year thereafter, the State Court Administrator shall determine the percentage increase or decrease in the cost of living for the previous calendar year, based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, West Region (All Items), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor. On or before July 1 of the year in which the State Court Administrator makes the determination required by this subsection, the State Court Administrator shall adjust the limitations imposed under subsection (2) of this section for the following calendar year by multiplying the limitation amounts applicable to the calendar year in which the adjustment is made by the percentage amount determined under this subsection. The adjustment may not exceed three percent for any year. The State Court Administrator shall round the adjusted limitation amount to the nearest $100, but the unrounded amount shall be used to calculate the adjustments to the limitations in subsequent calendar years. The adjusted limitation becomes effective on July 1 of the year in which the adjustment is made, and applies to all causes of action arising on or after July 1 of that year and before July 1 of the subsequent year. [2009 c.67 §5; 2019 c.12 §3]
Note: See note under 30.269 (Limitations on awards under Oregon Tort Claims Act generally).
§§ 30.260 to 30.300

Notes of Decisions

Dismissal of action for personal injuries was improper where based solely upon allegations of complaint and allegations did not state sufficient facts for court to determine whether particular governmental act was discretionary function or duty. Hulen v. City of Hermiston, 30 Or App 1141, 569 P2d 665 (1977)

Where plaintiff was mistakenly arrested following computer retrieval of identifying and locator data for individual of similar name, demurrer as to three of defendants was properly sustained because plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts from which duty to plaintiff could be discerned, and summary judgment as to two of defendants was improperly allowed because affidavits did not reveal whether defendant's acts were discretionary or ministerial. Murphy v. City of Portland, 36 Or App 745, 585 P2d 732 (1978)

Complaint allegation that plaintiff submitted application for building permit in proper form was sufficient to allow prosecution of claim against public officer. Dykeman v. State, 39 Or App 629, 593 P2d 1183 (1979)

Even if Children's Services Division's failure to follow required APA rulemaking procedures could constitute tort within meaning of these sections, CSD was immune from tort liability under ORS 30.265 (3)(f) where it terminated its benefit program without prior rulemaking procedures. Burke v. Children's Services Division, 288 Or 533, 607 P2d 141 (1980)

Actions brought under 42 U.S.C. 1981 are subject to two-year statute of limitations of Tort Claims Act. Loiseau v. Dept. of Human Resources, 558 F Supp 521 (1983)

Where police officer pursued plaintiff in marked police car with lights and siren activated in area defendant was assigned to patrol, with no known motive other than to fulfill duty as police officer, trial court was correct in concluding that defendant was acting in course and scope of employment, despite plaintiff's claim that defendant's acts were excessive. Brungardt v. Barton, 69 Or App 440, 685 P2d 1021 (1984)

Plaintiff in 42 U.S.C. 1983 action brought under the Oregon Tort Claims Act against municipality for actions of its employes need not show that employes acted according to "custom or usage" as in federal §1983 action. Haase v. City of Eugene, 85 Or App 107, 735 P2d 1258 (1987)

Limitations of Oregon Tort Claims Act do not apply to claims brought in state court alleging violation of federal Civil Rights Act. Rogers v. Saylor, 306 Or 267, 760 P2d 232 (1988)

Mayor was immune from liability in tort claim under this section where former chief of police brought tort action in connection with her removal from office. Harrington v. City of Portland, 708 F Supp 1561 (D. Or. 1988)

Where plaintiffs brought action under 42 U.S.C 1983 and this section after defendant Children's Services Division employees removed plaintiff's child from home following reports of abuse, defendants are entitled to absolute immunity under this section for their discretionary acts as provided by ORS 30.265 (3). Tennyson v. Children's Services Division, 308 Or 80, 775 P2d 1365 (1989)

There is no legislative purpose to extend definition of "agent" to control to include ostensible agent when doctrine of apparent authority is intended to achieve different purpose. Giese v. Bay Area Health District, 101 Or App 410, 790 P2d 1198 (1990), Sup Ct review denied

Because there was evidence that resident was not hospital's agent in first place, fact that "loaned servant" doctrine does not eliminate agency relationship between hospital and employee who assists physician in surgery did not give plaintiff grounds for directed verdict. Shepard v. Sisters of Providence, 102 Or App 196, 793 P2d 1384 (1990)

Completed Citations

State Forester v. Umpqua R. Nav. Co., 258 Or 10, 478 P2d 631 (1970), cert. denied, 404 US 826 (1971)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Liability of members of the State Water Resources Board for damages of party adversely affected by reclassification, (1972) Vol 36, p 250; faculty members scope of employment, (1975) Vol 37, p 911; state liability for negligent operation by drivers of state-owned vehicles in authorized car pool, (1978) Vol 39, p 101; State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation as public body, (1980) Vol 40, p 344; Use of Liability Fund balances to pay cost of claims for which date of loss precedes authorized implementation date of state self-insurance program, (1981) Vol 41, p 329; Department of Veterans Affairs fee appraisers and inspectors as agents of state for purposes of tort liability, (1981) Vol 42, p 103; CPAs and PAs volunteering services to investigate and review complaints against accountancy licensees as employes or agents of public body, (1983) Vol 43, p 145; Cause of action under Oregon Tort Claims Act for declarative or injunctive relief or for violation of federal statute,

(1985) Vol. 44, p 416; Oregon Medical Insurance Pool, board, members, employes and agents immune from tort claims, (1989) Vol 46, p 155; director and other state employes are covered by Oregon Tort Claims Act, (1989) Vol 46, p 155; various persons have immunity from prosecution for criminal acts committed in carrying out pool programs, (1989) Vol 46, p 155

Law Review Citations

53 OLR 371 (1974); 23 WLR 493, 507 (1987); 69 OLR 157 (1990); 38 WLR 657 (2002); 50 WLR 619 (2014)


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Jun. 26, 2021